PwC Reading AC

#1

Hi,

I have been reading through the forums but so far has been unable to determine who will interview me on the Assessment day.

So far I have passed the online tests and they have skipped the first interview and invited me to AC straight away. I read that this happens or it is how it actually works in offices outside London. But still the question is not answered - is it with a partner or manager? There is no mentioning of fast-track like I had with KPMG.

My guess so far is that they invite people to AC and get interviewed by a manager and if you pass that you have 2nd interview with a partner. It will fit the method of assessment by the accounting companies ( partner has the final decision) and in a way makes sense - partner would not have to interview people who would fail assessment center thus saving time and money.

Thanks

Bobo

#2

Hi Bobo,

although I can’t say for sure, I would imagine that you’ve completely missed the first interview with a manager and will go straight to an interview with a partner or director.

My first interview was with a partner anyway, and the one on the assessment day with a director, so it seems in the regional offices that it depends who’s free, and manager interviews can be missed!

If you’re really concerned, call the HR team, they’ve always been really helpful with me, and I can’t see them having a problem giving you an idea of who you might be seeing…if they know themselves.

I’d suggest you prepare as much as possible, then who ever you see it wont matter, even if you end up having two interviews like you suggested!!

Good luck and hope it goes well

em

#3

Thanks em,

After some research following a link given in the assessment day confirmation (duh!) I did find out that my guess was correct following success at the AC there is a second round of interviews with a partner, first one being with a manager.

Bobo

#4

Hi Bobo,
Can you tell me if you were purely asked competency based questions as it is technically a first round interview despite being called an AD? Or did you have commercial awareness questions too?

I’m a little confused. When i had my first round with Deloitte i wasn’t asked any commercial awareness questions. Those were asked by the partner at final round…

Any clarification would be great

#5

Ben/Bobo,

I went to a PwC assessment day at the Reading office last August. My first interview was at the AD, and was with a manager (as was everyone else’s) but it probably depends on who is available that day.

It was mostly competency-based, but there were also some questions around what I would be doing (which for RAS/assurance was a bit tricky!) and I think a couple of Qs about some recent events which would impact on PwC and audit industry generally.

Before my AD the guy running the day phoned to talk me through what would happen on the day and gave some tips on things to be prepared for and to answer any of my questions, this also happened before my partner interview.

One final hint: think up examples of ways in which you set yourself objectives and how you go about achieving them. And the day before your interview buy the FT (Thursdays often have accounting stories by the way) and get a feel for what is going on in the business world and think about how things impact PwC and its clients.

Ucayman.

#6

Thanks for the informative post

#7

Did any you guys have to do a case study/group exercise? What was it about?

#8

Hi Ben,
Yep the assessment day had a group exercise. For mine there were only four of us, but other offices may have larger group exercises (although I doubt it). The one we did was looking at a case study of a hotel resort in a tropical country (fictitious??) and we had to read through our individual cards and share these with the group then choose the best options for developing the resort keeping within the budget and the aims and objectives of the client.
(Note: This was for last year’s recruitment drive so I would expect it to be different now…)

Was one of the better group exercises I have had, but that was partly because it was 4 bright, polite and respectful guys; unlike some I have been involved in.
So nothing you can really prepare for it, and there are hundreds of posts on here that go through what to do to come across well. But if there are extra information sheets left in the middle of the table don’t be afraid to take responsibility for one of those (also might be wise to encourage someone else to do it too), although make sure you finish reviewing your sheet first!!

Ucayman.

#9

was this case study something to do with an environmental eco-town? Who are you in this case study, are you someone working for PwC?

#10

Last years was the environmentally friendly holiday resort - in which you had to decide which items they should buy and you were a pwc advisor - not sure if it is the same/similar this year

#11

Yup.

You can’t select everything but you can address each objective and recommend an improvement on it. Have to work really well as a group though or you will run out of time. Very important point and I can’t stress this enough is that you show good teamwork and communication rather than complete the task. In a way with good teamwork and communication should be able to complete the task but you can complete the task without it. Think about the competencies and see how they fit in a group exercise.

Certainly one of the more time pressured group exercises I have done. But don’t let that scare you, dig in and do your best you will come out successful on the other end :slight_smile:

#12

Ben,
I believe you are asked to decide the best way to use the client’s budget to meet their objectives, given the investment options provided. So as long as the group discusses and justifies the choices they make well then they should be meeting the objectives of the exercise. It is not necessarily about choosing the correct options (PwC will probably say there are no right answers!), but is just looking to see how well you work in the group situation and how well you are able to justify your points. In other words they don’t really care which options you choose, as long as you demonstrate and meet their competency requirements (Which they will run through in the exercise briefing).

When is your A/C??

#13

Also if you come up with a budget they might stop you when you are talking and say their has been a change in the budget and you have less money then you have to decide on what to remove

They don’t give you a time limit for this so you can take your time but don’t take forever

#14

That’s some great advice. Thanks everyone!

My A/C is next week. I’m quite worried. It feels like there is so much to do throughout the day. By far the worst thing for me is going to be the interview and the group exercise. Were you asked about the company you had mentioned in your application?

I have read elsewhere that they will ask you about another company and not the one on your application. Would it be a good idea to choose a company that is not a current client? Would it matter if this company was a client of another big4 firm? haha

OMG feels like i’m going mad preparing for this

#15

Hehe I know the feeling.

I got asked about the company I had mentioned though I hear they do sometimes ask “If you were auditing M&S right now what would your advise be to them?” not sure hwo often it crops up and which companies they use. I would assume it would be a company that was recently in the headlines.
To prepare just learn what auditing does (helps with questions asking you that) so that you can draw conclusions on the basis of that. Furthermore learn what else can be done for your company. I try to find as many details about my company and then see how it can be helped. Find the problems and the stuff you need to say will be infront of you :slight_smile:

Generally a company that is already a client can be a risky business. The manager/partner might actualyl work on it or have worked on it and thus will have very intimate knowledge and can tear apart your suggestions with new information. It is hard but you need to stay calm and reconsider the new information perhaps it highlights the need for a previous suggestion. Just show that you actually have some logic and should do fine :slight_smile:

Don’t panic though. The assessment day is one of the best around. They make you feel really comfortable, sometimes too comfortable perhaps. I certainly had best experience with PwC recruitment, from the speed of the communication to the people interviewing you. Just prepare prepare prepare. If you spent your time preparing you wont have any regrets whatever the outcome - afterall you gave it your best :slight_smile:

#16

ok thanks. Is it actually possible to meet the objective of the case study and be within budget? I have heard it is somewhat of a trick question.

#17

I GOT THROUGH! I’m over the moon! Thanks for the information you provided, it was a great help. I have got through the first round AD and will have my partner interview soon. Received a phone call just as I got home with good feedback so I feel quite good, but I haven’t been able to stop reading the news all day…preparing for commercial awareness

Can anyone give me some advice on this. What sort of questions did you guys get asked? Are regional partner interviews any different to London interviews? I know it really depends on who interviews you on the day and how they feel, but I want to make sure I nail this interview.

How about commercial awareness, do they focus on the company you put in your on-line application as an ideal client? Or is it much more general.

#18

Hi, I have an AC coming up at a regional office. Ben187, well done on getting through to the next round, do you have any tips for the AC? especially the group exercise please as that is the part im really nervous about.

#19

The group exercise is not that bad, its actually quite enjoyable. My tips to you would be to ensure you manage time, stay on point, don’t be too dominant or stay quiet. Get non vocal team members involved.

I think if you delivered on these you’ll do well. Hope that helps

#20

In regards to Partnet interview some of the questions will be the same i.e. why pwc? why accounting/audit? what would you do if you had £x?

A lot of it will relate to how they think you will fit into the team, work with others etc.

But really it can vary from partner to partner

If you know their name look their profile up on the website and see what things they are involved with and then mention those in the interview